**Update: 06/11/19 @ 17:08 UTC – A Norwegian spokesperson commented on reasons for the change, details below**
Norwegian will be dropping its Madrid to New York from its summer 2020 schedule. The Scandinavian airline made the amendment during its schedule update last week.
Routesonline reports that the carrier previously scheduled this operation four times a week during this period from March 29th, 2020. However, reservations are not currently available for these flights. Services between Spain’s capital and the United States economic hub are still operated by the airline before this date.
This route is operated by various airlines, offering highly competitive rates between them. Fellow Nordic operator Finnair provides reasonable flights during this season that are in the range of $350. Meanwhile, Air France, British Airways and Iberia offer options that can be under $400.
With Norwegian specializing in low-cost operations, it may have determined that its efforts are better spent for this period. Especially since there is an abundance of alternative options to choose from, operated by well-known carriers.
The news coincides with the firm’s announcement that it will be launching 16 new routes across Europe from the spring and summer of next year. Seven of these will be connecting its host country to other destinations in the region.
According to a Norwegian press release, there will be two weekly services from Olso to Wroclaw from April 1. Along with this, there will be two weekly flights from Oslo from April 3. Oslo will also see two weekly flights to Poznan from April 1. Additionally, there will be four weekly departures from Oslo to Düsseldorf from April 2.
Furthermore, there will be two weekly departures from Trondheim to Gdansk starting April 1. In the middle of the year, the company has scheduled two weekly departures from Bergen to Billund, starting June 18. Finally, there will be two flights a week from Stavanger to Billund from June 19.
The combination of announcements from Norwegian shows that the airline is looking to refocus its attention on local markets from April. With the company continuing to go through financial hardship over the last month, it may be looking to find ways to reorganize its structure.
Last week, Norwegian held its third fundraiser in two years, selling $272m worth of shares and bond issues. It claims that the funds will help it operate through at least the next year. However, investors have been firm and have told the airline that it has to show that it can be profitable.
Norwegian also had to deal with struggles involving the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX. The carrier is unable to operate its 18 units. Along with this, it has another 100 of the aircraft on order. In a bid to raise further cash, it sold five of its 737-800s for $50 million last month. Meanwhile, perhaps in a bid to solve its fleet issues, there have been reports that the firm is considering a large order of the Sukhoi Superjet.
Simple Flying reached out to Norwegian regarding the route changes. A spokesperson explained that the company is seeing greater opportunities in other areas, and has launched new routes from the US.
“We continuously review our network to ensure we meet demand and offer highly competitive routes. With the aircraft used for the JFK-Madrid route, we saw much greater opportunities reallocating it to serve new routes where we see greater demand,” the spokesperson said.
“As such, we have announced four new routes so far for summer 2020: Austin-Paris, Chicago-Paris, Chicago-Rome and Denver-Rome. We have also increased frequencies on a number of our most popular routes, including Los Angeles-Madrid, which continues to do very well for us. For next summer we are increasing frequencies to five flights a week between LAX and Madrid to meet the demand on that route.”
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